Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Seth Davis Stock Report: He's Holding Vanderbilt

The complete story is available here. Here's what he's got to say about the Commodores:

VANDERBILT (10-2, No. 22): HOLD

Here's another one of those high-floor-low-ceiling teams. The Commodores are smart enough not to lose to teams they should beat, but are they talented enough to consistently beat teams they shouldn't? Not sure. I think Festus Ezeli is giving Vandy a toughness and defensive presence it has lacked in the past, but the league will not give them many opportunities for real eyebrow-raising wins. Outside of an upset of Kentucky and maybe a couple of tough road wins, Vandy will have a hard time breaking into the top 15.

I think Seth Davis is as good a college basketball analyst as there is, but I'm not sure how Tennessee and Florida can be "Buys" with the Commodores sitting as a "Hold." I also take exception with his "criticism" of Vanderbilt, specifically that he is unsure whether Vanderbilt can "consistently beat teams they shouldn't." If you're consistently beating teams you shouldn't, doesn't that mean: a) you're better than people think and b) that you're actually beating teams you are as good as? For me, the test Seth sets up is strange. I also think his "high-floor, low ceiling" formulation reeks of assuming Vanderbilt an unathletic, soft, perimeter-focused team. That is simply not the case. The Commodores are not an "elite team" the way Duke, Ohio State, or Kansas might be, but having watched a lot of college basketball this season, I think Vanderbilt is team capable of being a team just below that "elite" level.

Vanderbilt has beaten North Carolina on the road and a very good (and pesky) Marquette team at home. Their 2 loses came by a combined 6 points to West Virginia (a good team that has struggled) on a neutral court and Missouri in Columbia in a game where the Commodores probably should have won. I don't understand the skepticism about Vanderbilt, especially when compared to their SEC brethren Florida and Tennessee.


Seth said...

Eh, I can see why he's "holding" on us. Last year, we were the second best team in the SEC and had a chance to win it. However, during our big game with KY at home we chocked. We dont play very well when expectations are high. If we really want to take that step in the espn basketball limelight, we need to sweep TN, FL, and a home win against KY. Dont forget the game @ TN is on College Gameday so a win there would HUGE.

Anonymous said...

I think the losses to Siena and Murray St. are why he's reluctant to get on the bandwagon. Can't really blame him for that one. We also get slighted for having such a big home court advantage. An angle that i've never really understood from the national press. Although i can see why they suffer in the (spiteful) coaches poll.

The UNC win was a neutral court w, not away. And that ugly win over Nebraska looks good with them sitting at 11-2.

I've got my eye on 2/1 @ Florida. If we take care of business until then (including the home game against st mary's) and pull the slight upset, I think you'll see our 'Dores in the top-15.

Andrew Smith said...

I'm not sure why you guys always get so upset about early season rankings. The college basketball season is long enough that teams get a chance to prove themselves. If this team continues to mature and improve -- and it develops some poise in pressure situations -- we'll end the year a Top 15 team and people will know it.

J.B., M.D. said...

I think we should be a Modest Buy, if there were the term, at 22, and agree with the buy recommendation for Florida at Not Ranked (their bad loss was two days after a huge win against KSU).

KenPom has Vandy #9, which highlights that our solid offense and defense statistics together might be under appreciated. http://kenpom.com/index.php

Buried in the Kentucky comment is this little gem: "This rating also reflects my low opinion of the SEC East, which has been a major disappointment outside of UK."

Chuck Heston said...

I used to take umbrage at both polls and sports commentators not giving VU its due. However, VU has finished the regular season ranked in the Top 10 before (at least in recent memory). In the end, it takes a while to earn a high ranking, and a bad loss to lose it.

Anonymous said...

the comment about the SEC east is sickening to me. who's underperformed in the east outside of UT?

UK is a legit team. it lost at UNC and to a good UCONN team. hardly shameful.

UGA has only lost to notre dame and temple (in top 25). again, nothing to be ashamed about and those games were close.

south carolina has performed as expected i think. loss to michigan state and ohio state. ok. the losses to furman and BC are a little strange but this team was picked last in the east.

and we all know what we've done.

UT is the only east team that has under performed. did he expect UK & UT to be undefeated at this point?

Anonymous said...

"This rating also reflects my low opinion of the SEC East, which has been a major disappointment outside of UK."

- One of Seth Davis' worst comments ever.